The Ping: Finalize and Maintain your Disaster Recovery Plan

Ok, I have followed all the steps in last week’s blog post. I have identified my critical functions and reviewed my backups, but I still don’t have a recovery plan in place.

How do I create a plan based on the loss tolerance decisions that have been made?

Now that you’ve done some research and made critical business decisions that best fit your Disaster Recovery needs, let’s document it! You can simultaneously begin to implement some of the changes you will need to engage your plan when disaster strikes, but if there is no user manual then no one will know how to use it. You want to create a write-up that is comprehensive and easy to understand and to follow. At a high level, you want to make sure your plan covers the Who, What, When, Where, Why & How?

Who will implement the plan? – Let’s identify your Recovery Teams.
What are the Critical Functions and what infrastructure or service are they running on?
When do you implement? How soon after loss is identified do you begin to initiate the Disaster Recovery plan?
Where does recovery happen and how do you connect to it? All your hard work will have been for nothing if nobody can locate or access the recovery infrastructure!
Why are you initiating your Disaster Recovery plan? What acceptable loss factor has triggered the disaster flag?

You will also need to identify how to access your plan in the event of a total loss of your data and email storage.

How do I ensure my plan will work and is kept up to date?

After the decisions are made, the plan is documented, and the backup solutions are implemented you must test your Disaster Recovery plan. The initial test may uncover gaps in your plan that need attention. Work towards resolving those gaps, but more importantly: plan your next test. Will you do it quarterly, biennially or annually?

Testing your plan keeps you familiar and ready for disaster, but you will also need to make sure to review and evaluate the plan as a whole on a recurring basis as well. Is your list of Critical Functions up to date? Is their importance weighted the same as when you wrote the plan? Have you added or removed a service or team that needs to be reflected in the plan?

Moving Forward…
Now that we’ve hit the high points of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, what questions do you have? Are you able to understand but not really sure how to get started? Are you unsure of whether or not your business has a compliance element that requires a Disaster Recovery plan? Do you have an old Disaster Recovery plan that needs revisiting? Let us know. We can answer questions and create a project that fits your specific disaster recovery needs.


Your UniVista Team
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